I’m very sorry to hear of the passing of Emi… I never forget strong えみちゃん If you need us,we’ll be here!

-messages from friends and family

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Went to my appointment in hopes of finding out gender….

When I first found out I was pregnant I immediately joined as many baby sites as I could and downloaded a handful of apps for my phone. The one I ended up using the the most was “babycenter.ca”  That was the place I went to to share excitement, anxiety, fears, and questions, it was my online support group even though I didn’t post much.  It was great to be able to see what other pregnant ladies were going through. Opinions varied and sometimes judgment was passed but for the most part it was a friendly place. We saw people come and go, we consoled each other when life wasn’t going great and gave a shoulder to cry on when our little ones were lost through miscarriage or other.
This is what I posted when Bean-chan was diagnosed with IUGR:
Instead I found out my little one has Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). I’m 25w+1 and LO is 22w+3. The last two appointments baby was about a week and a half behind, the doc said it was ok. It has been 4 weeks since my last appointment and LO has only grown two weeks worth. My weight went up by 5 pounds but my circumference went down by 1 cm, though my fundus went up which is good. I am scheduled to go in again in two weeks. From what I read online, there seems to be a lot of positive posts from ladies who had the same problem, but a lot of scary information as well. Looks like the chances of a premature birth and c-section are high. I’m feeling a little down about the news and lost any desire to shop or set up for baby out of fear that it will all go sour >.< Has anyone else experienced this?

I remember the first time I noticed that our little bean was smaller than expected, it was around week 16, she was measuring around 15 and then again around week 18, she was measuring around 17. The doctor never said anything and after some research of my own I discovered that SGA, small for gestational age, is not that big of a worry if it is within a few weeks and that sometimes the baby will just catch up later on.
When I went to my week 25 check up I was super excited because I thought I could finally find out the gender, but well, we couldn’t see her little bits because she was still super little and the doc couldn’t get a clear view. This was also the day he told me Bean-chan had IUGR.
When I got home that night I looked up everything I could about IUGR. The thing about having a baby in Japan when you don’t speak the language that well and when the doctor doesn’t speak English is that you end up depending a lot on your own research skills. I took what the doc told me and then used the internet to expand on it.  During my research I came across possible reasons for IUGR which included:
  • Mom smokes
  • Mom drinks
  • Mom has diabetes, gestational or otherwise
  • Mom has hypertension, gestational or otherwise
  • Mom has pre-emclampsia
  • There is a problem with the placenta
  • Baby has a chromosomal problem.

I had none of these problems… Drink? I stopped drinking the moment we decided to try to conceive and I only drank after that if good old aunt flow showed up and would stop as soon as she left. I had never smoked in my life so that was out. I was keeping an eye on gestational diabetes because, well, I am overweight and I have always kept an eye on possible diabetes even before I got pregnant. Hypertension,I had never in my life had problems with blood pressure and in fact every doctors visit my blood pressure came out perfect, so it wasn’t that. Pre-emclamp what?…. had to do research on that, but I had none of the symptoms. Problem with the placenta, I’m sure the doc would have said something by now. Chromosomal problem… that was all that was left and at age 35, I guess the possibility was higher.

In my studies I learned about symmetrical and asymmetrical IUGR, I learned that one would rather have asymmetrical IUGR because it meant that the nutrients and growing power was going to the brain first. Symmetrical usually meant that the IUGR  started early and or it was a baby with a chromosome abnormality. The doctor never said anything about symmetrical or asymmetrical but judging by all the ultra sound pictures, our little bean was pretty symmetrical. I was slowly realizing what the future may hold for us and to be honest, I wasn’t sure I was ready. I knew I would love our little one regardless, but the responsibility was what was scaring me.

Not wanting to believe that Bean-chan had a chromosome abnormality I went back to researching that pre emclampsia thing.
These are some of the symptoms that I found….

  • Severe or persistent headache
  • Vision changes, including double vision, blurriness, seeing spots or flashing lights, light sensitivity, or temporary loss of vision
  • Intense pain or tenderness in your upper abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Protein in your urine
  • More than slight swelling
  • High blood pressure
  • sudden weight gain

I also found out that it is more common in first time pregnancies, women under 15 and over 35 years old, and women who have a BMI over 30. But it can also happen to perfectly fit and athletic women too.

Basically I found out that there is still a lot of research that needs to be done about pre-emclampsia and that not that much is really known about it.

I stored all of this info in the back of my mind and started watching for any hints or symptoms that may indicate that I pre-emclampsia. I am so glad I did.

I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. Little Emi looked げんきon your photo‥  It must be very difficult for you and Shelby. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

-messages from friends and family

Life Unexpected, Life Interupted.

April 4, 2014 was one one whirlwind of a day that ended with one of our greatest joys entering our lives. My daughter, Emi Moreau, was born.

Because of rapidly progressing pre emclampsia, IUGR, low aminotic fluid and a “strange” placenta, Emi was born through emergency c-section at 26 weeks. She was measuring small at 450g and the size of a 22 week bean.

April 9th, 2014 that same great joy, just as unexpected as she entered, exited our lives.

“Wednesday April 9th at 4:40 pm we lost Emi. During a routine changing of tubes she suffered some blood loss which wouldn’t clot. The NICU doctors tried to resuscitate her but her little body just wasn’t strong enough to handle the trauma. She died in our arms. The doctors and nurses all said she was “powerful” she fought hard and she was stable so this was unexpected even to the NICU staff We want to thank you for all your support, encouragement and for sharing in our joy however brief it was. This has been the hardest pain Shelby and I have ever had to endure and it will take some time for us to recover, please be patient with us during this time. ”

“It is with a heavy heart that I have to share that Emi died in our arms yesterday afternoon.

She was doing well but some liquid was found in her breathing tube and during a routine tube change she suffered some blood loss that would not clot. It was a domino effect from there. They attempted resuscitation but it failed. The doctors at the NICU are amazing but sometimes things just do not go the way we want them.

Thank you for all the support, love and positive energy. I ask that you keep sending them as we take this time to grieve and eventually heal”

I hope that this blog will not only help me come to terms with what happened while also allowing my friends and family to read in detail what occurred,  but I also hope that in sharing my journey others who have gone though the same or are going through the same will not feel so alone. Let’s be honest, no pregnancy book or website ever prepares you for the loss of your little one. It feels like they avoid it completely because hey no one wants to hear about that stuff, unfortunately by doing so we feel isolated and abandoned. Let me reassure you. You are not alone.

This is new….

So on October 30th of this year I was working late into the night making some last minute costumes for my husband and I. We were going to help out at my ESS club (English Speaking Society) with their Halloween party and then head over to the University to go to the Outdoor Life’s Halloween party organized by our friend who teaches there.

As I quietly worked on the costume, Shelby had gone to bed, I found myself thinking about various things and finally got hung up on my late period. (Exciting I know….) I had taken a pregnancy test a week earlier but it was negative, I felt frustrated,  because I was over a week late and nothing. I finished the costume and in my somewhat groggy state decided to take the pregnancy test. Impatient to get it over with I just did what I heard over and over on tv and movies… just pee on the stick. Turns out I did it wrong, I was suppose to pee in a cup first thing in the morning… not on the stick at some god forsaken time of night. Regardless I got a faint line. I was excited, doubtful and scared, I mean I just did everything I was not suppose to do with this test. I decided to go to bed and try again in the morning.

halloween 2013

Happy Gnome family digesting the info of being pregnant with a baby gnome.

Morning came and the first thing I did, properly this time, was to retake the test. Faint second line. It still counts right?  I got ready for work as usual but with a bit more of a bounce to my step. My plan was to tell Shelby as soon as he woke up however he didn’t wake up so I went to wake him before I went to work. Perhaps “morning Shelby, I’m pregnant, see you” was not the best way to break it to him, especially seeing as the next time we will get to talk in private wouldn’t be until later that night after all the parties. Poor guy.

On the 3rd of November I took another test. I mean you got to be sure about these things right? Two strong lines. Really pregnant.  On the 5th I roped in my very pregnant friend (one month away from giving birth pregnant) Takako and her mad Japaneses skills to accompany me to the doctor, where I peed in a cup yet again and then got an ultra sound done. 5 weeks – 3 days pregnant.

Yup. I was pregnant.

For two weeks I lived a slight haze of oh my god I’m pregnant. Am I even mature enough to be pregnant?

My haze ended on the 25th of November when I discovered some brown spotting… back to the doctors and was slapped with a week of bed rest…. the excitement of an impromptu vacation quickly dwindled when boredom set in.  The doctor said it was a threatened miscarriage, which sounds pretty scary, turns out they call any kind of bleeding a threatened miscarriage. I’m sure I could have gone there with a scape knee and be told it was a threatened miscarriage. However, in seriousness, this is when I realized why many don’t announce their pregnancy until the second trimester, anything can happen.

I scoured the internet for any info on the first trimester. Honestly I had to stop otherwise I would turn into a bundle of stressed out nerves. Everything was out to get me in the first trimester and there was a pretty good chance everything could go wrong! I shut down webMD and forced myself to think rationally. I mean really, everything on the internet is sensationalized Fox News style, just last month I thought I was going to die of cancer because I ate broccoli on a Friday and had an ingrown toe nail on Saturday.

I returned to the web with a more analytical mind. What I came out with was: If I miscarry, there is nothing I could have done to prevent it. It just means that this little bean was developing incorrectly and it is natures way of saying “not this time, lets reset and try again”. It sounds horrible yet wonderful at the same time. I decided that no matter what happened, I would accept it as natures way, nature after all has a hell of a whole lot more experience in this area than I do. I knew that I just needed to do my part, take care of myself and eat right.

I have never eaten so much fruit in my life!

I am also glad to report that morning sickness was minimal and that the most inconvenient thing that I experienced was the need to sleep at all times.

And so, this is how it began……